Airstream Unveils Electric Trailer That Can Be Controlled By Smartphone

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

The shiny, chrome Airstream of the past may be gone, but now there’s an electric trailer you can use your smartphone to control.

Austrian company Thor Industries, which owns Airstream, has created its eStream electric trailer concept. It’s battery-powered, emissions-free, and can sustain itself for two weeks with solar-panel help.

Pretty nice for a company that’s been around for 90 years while trying to stay hip with some cutting-edge technology. Yahoo! Finance reported on the new and improved camper.

At the moment, the camper’s a concept. It was only last February that the company floated the idea of an electric camper to match the growing trend.

According to Yahoo!, Winnebago showed off its first all-electric camper van just a few days ago. The German company Mercedes-Benz has also debuted an emissions-free RV. Volkswagen also has an electric camper van in the works.

The only company putting a price out now is Mercedes-Benz. The Robb Report said their emissions-free RV EQV base model starts at $64,459. A longer model EQV 300 runs at $99,000

Tell Me More About The Camper And My Smartphone

Well, you can practically push a button, and this Airstream camper will back itself into the campsite without the tow vehicle.

According to Gear Patrol, you can use the smartphone to make the camper make low-speed maneuvers like hitching and unhitching or reversing into a parking spot/maneuvering around a campsite. 

The smartphone app will tell you how much camper battery life is left while suggesting the nearest charging station. There are also voice-activated climate and lighting controls inside and outside the camper.

The camper’s modern style features a bedroom, living room, and kitchen, along with a TV, microwave, and fridge.   

Getting To Know The eStream

The new towable camper’s electric drivetrain consists of two independent motors that power each trailer’s wheels. There’s also some talk of the trailer having regenerative braking, which would help the tow vehicle.

What does that mean? Well, the trailer produces 242 horsepower with 132 feet of twist. It’s got a high-voltage 80 kWh battery pack and integrated fuel cell. Thor said you’ll get about 300 miles of help with the setup.

As for the autonomous power, there are 900 watts of battery that can power the Airstream camper’s amenities.  

There’s some mystery behind the trailer’s towing weight. Gear Patrol observed that lithium-ion battery packs could be heavy, so this eStream trailer may operate differently with or without the battery packs. The website said the electronic trailer would be less than 5,000 pounds if a Tesla Model X towed it (like in the company’s promotional photos). 

The electric trailer’s cost and production schedule are unknown at this time, so we’ll have to wait for more to come out.